As auto sales boom, these are Canada’s 30 most popular new vehicles, at least across the first three months of 2017
#30: Subaru Impreza
— 2017 Q1 Sales: +43% to 3,084 — Launched this year as an all-new, fifth-generation car, the new Subaru Impreza is off to a hot start. Total Impreza volume rose to a record level in calendar year 2016. At this pace, the Impreza – which derives 30 percent of its 3,084 sales from the WRX/STI – will beat that record by more than 5,000 sales.
#29: Honda HR-V
— 2017 Q1 Sales: +63% to 3,307 — Canada’s best-selling subcompact crossover has reported year-over-year growth in each of the last five months. The Honda HR-V is a Fit-based utility, but the HR-V is currently selling five times more often than the Fit.
#28: Toyota Sienna
— 2017 Q1 Sales: +2% to 3,324 — Refreshed with a new interior in 2015 and then again with a new powertrain for 2017, the Toyota Sienna will receive a modest facelift and a handful of tech changes for 2018. The Sienna is Canada’s second-best-selling minivan, albeit nearly 8,000 sales behind the Dodge Grand Caravan already.
#27: Toyota Highlander
— 2017 Q1 Sales: +14% to 3,370 — Revamped for the 2017 model year, the Toyota Highlander is Canada’s second-best-selling three-row utility vehicle. Only the Ford Explorer tops the Highlander in that regard. 2016 was the Highlander’s sixth consecutive year of growth, and the record output last year represented nearly twice as many sales as the Highlander managed in 2012.
#26: Ford Edge
— 2017 Q1 Sales: -26% to 3,405 — After reporting an all-time Canadian sales record in 2016, the Ford Edge has proven incapable of matching that sales pace in 2017’s first quarter. It’s early, but the Edge is off last year’s pace by nearly 1,200 sales already, as sales of its smaller (Escape) and bigger (Explorer) brethren both accelerate.
#25: Jeep Grand Cherokee
— 2017 Q1 Sales: +1% to 3,523 — In a Jeep lineup that’s suffering as the Wrangler approaches replacement, as the Cherokee ages, as the Patriot disappears, as the Compass transitions into a new generation, the Jeep Grand Cherokee’s growth is a bright spot for Fiat Chrysler Canada. 2016 smashed the Grand Cherokee’s annual sales record. 2017, at least through three months, is even better.
#24: Jeep Wrangler
— 2017 Q1 Sales: -14% to 3,533 — We expect to see an all-new Jeep Wrangler launched later this year for the 2018 model year. In the meantime, the outgoing Wrangler loses some of its appeal with higher advertised base prices and gradually decreasing availability. Even below the sales pace of the last three years, Jeep is still on pace to sell nearly twice as many Wranglers this year as the brand did a decade ago.
#23: Ford Explorer
— 2017 Q1 Sales: +40% to 3,568 — As the Blue Oval approaches the launch of yet another facelifted version of the fifth-generation Ford Explorer for its eighth model year, Explorer sales are booming in Canada. 2017 is expected to be the third consecutive year in which more than 15,000 copies of the Explorer, the best-selling three-row utility vehicle, are sold in Canada.
#22: Nissan Sentra
— 2017 Q1 Sales: +1% to 3,581 — Despite falling car sales in Canada, the Nissan brand has reported a modest passenger car sales increase through the first-quarter of 2017. The Nissan Sentra, Nissan Canada’s top-selling car nameplate, accounts for one-third of the brand’s car sales, nearly as many as the Micra and Versa combined.
#21: Volkswagen Golf
— 2017 Q1 Sales: -6% to 3,952 — As Volkswagen Canada continues to struggle with the fallout from 2015’s diesel emissions scandal, nearly every Volkswagen product is selling less often this year than last. The Volkswagen Golf, Volkswagen Canada’s top-selling model, has lost only 250 sales, but the Jetta (down by nearly 1,000 sales to date), Passat, CC, and Tiguan are in decline, as well.
#20: Hyundai Santa Fe Sport
— 2017 Q1 Sales: -16% to 4,266 — Now in old age, the current Hyundai Santa Fe Sport is gradually losing its place in Hyundai’s crossover lineup as the newer, hot-selling Tucson takes over. 2017 is on track to be the Santa Fe Sport’s third consecutive year of Canadian sales decline.
#19: Dodge Journey
— 2017 Q1 Sales: +27% to 4,513 — The Dodge Journey’s 27 percent leap through the first-quarter of 2017 doesn’t truly reflect a positive move forward for the Journey, now in its ninth model year. Even a 27-percent year-over-year gain over the course of 2016 will mean Journey sales are 26 percent lower than in 2011, when Journey volume peaked.
#18: Mazda CX-5
— 2017 Q1 Sales: +5% to 5,108 — While revamped for the 2017 model year, the new Mazda CX-5 was not yet an active model in the first-quarter of this year. Yet sales of the outgoing CX-5 continued to rise, climbing 5 percent compared with the first-quarter of 2016. Mazda Canada’s best-selling model last year, the CX-5 currently trails the surging Mazda 3 but still accounts for one-third of Mazda’s sales.
#17: Chevrolet Equinox
— 2017 Q1 Sales: +44% to 5,178 — Launching in all-new, third-generation form for the 2018 model year shortly, the second-generation Chevrolet Equinox’s clear-out has been a successful moving-of-metal in the first-quarter of 2017. 1,575 more Equinox crossovers were sold in the first three months of 2017 than in the same period one year ago.
#16: Chevrolet Cruze
— 2017 Q1 Sales: -2% to 5,587 — After sales of the new Chevrolet Cruze dragged GM’s compact car to an all-time low in calendar year 2016, first-quarter volume trailed even that low bar in early 2017. But perhaps the tide is turning as the Cruze hatchback begins to help out. Cruze sales jumped 27 percent, year-over-year, in March 2017, just the second monthly increase in the last half-year.
#15: Hyundai Tucson
— 2017 Q1 Sales: +31% to 5,652 — Suddenly making a case to become Hyundai Canada’s best-selling model, the Hyundai Tucson currently trails the Elantra by 2,405 sales through the first-quarter of 2017. Yet at the current rate of Tucson growth (and Elantra decline) the Tucson will easily outsell the Elantra by this time next year.
#14: Mazda 3
— 2017 Q1 Sales: +16% to 5,990 — After losing nearly one-third of its Canadian volume between 2014 and 2016, Mazda 3 sales are in recovery mode in early 2017. 16-percent growth translates to 800 additional sales in the first-quarter of 2017 than in the same period of 2016, though 3 sales are still on track to be well below the historic norm.
#13: Jeep Cherokee
— 2017 Q1 Sales: -8% to 6,594 — Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Canada’s best-selling product is the Ram P/U. The Dodge Grand Caravan comes next. But the third-best-selling FCA product and the top-selling utility vehicle is this Jeep Cherokee. Now in its fourth model year, Cherokee sales are down markedly through 2017’s first-quarter.
#12: Hyundai Elantra
— 2017 Q1 Sales: -30% to 8,057 — As sales of Canada’s two best-selling cars shoot toward record levels, the traditional No.2 car, Hyundai’s Elantra, has fallen precipitously in early 2017. Hyundai Canada has averaged over 10,700 first-quarter Elantra sales over the last half-decade; 2,600 fewer than that in 2017’s first three months.
#11: Ford Escape
— 2017 Q1 Sales: +9% to 8,932 — After topping 52,000 sales in 2014, Canadian sales of the Ford Escape dropped in 2015, and then the Escape lost its hold on the top-selling SUV position as sales fell a further 2 percent in 2016. Nine percent year-over-year growth in 2017 won’t restore the Escape to its former glory, but it’s a positive move for a vehicle now in its fifth model year.
#10: Toyota RAV4
— 2017 Q1 Sales: +4% to 9,979 — The Toyota RAV4, boosted by a hybrid model, was Canada’s best-selling SUV/crossover in 2016 for the first time ever. RAV4 sales are still growing, just not as fast as two utility vehicles that the RAV4 outsold last year.
#9: Honda CR-V
— 2017 Q1 Sales: +20% to 10,465 —Arriving at dealers as an all-new fifth-gen variant at the tail end of 2016, the 2017 Honda CR-V has proven to be a huge hit for Honda even as the automaker continues to see many dealers suffer from limited stock. The CR-V currently ranks as Canada’s second-best-selling utility vehicle, just 16 sales back of the more affordable Nissan Rogue.
#8: Nissan Rogue
— 2017 Q1 Sales: +47% to 10,481 — Set to be joined this spring by the smaller but similar Nissan Qashqai, the Nissan Rogue is presently surging, adding 3,366 sales to Nissan’s ledger over the course of only three months. Nissan’s quest for market share leads to sales tactics not usually employed by the next-best-selling Honda CR-V, but the Rogue nevertheless currently holds the crown as Canada’s top-selling SUV/crossover.
#7: Toyota Corolla
— 2017 Q1 Sales: +29% to 10,774 — Deriving 10 percent of its sales from the iM hatchback, formerly known as the Scion iM, the Toyota Corolla is selling at a record pace. Though not the freshest or hottest compact on the block, the Corolla is famously reliable and comes standard with plentiful active safety kit.
#6: Dodge Grand Caravan
— 2017 Q1 Sales: +26% to 11,226 — The Dodge Grand Caravan’s Fiat Chrysler Automobiles parent company doesn’t yet know what the future holds for the Windsor, Ontario-built minivan — its Chrysler twin was already replaced by the Pacifica — but the Grand Caravan continues to generate the majority of Canadian minivan sales with a budget price and a stout engine. It doesn’t sound like the kind of vehicle an automaker would want to discontinue.
#5: Chevrolet Silverado
— 2017 Q1 Sales: +16% to 11,991 — In a pickup truck market that’s grown 5 percent through the first three months of 2017, year-over-year growth of the Chevrolet Silverado has been three times that strong. Jointly, the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra – a set of General Motors identical twins – have outsold this list’s second-ranked vehicle by nearly 3,300 sales so far this year.
#4: GMC Sierra
— 2017 Q1 Sales: +13% to 13,105 — Though always the far less popular of GM’s two full-size pickup trucks south of the border, the GMC Sierra outsells its Chevrolet Silverado by a 9-percent margin in Canada. GM employs a different strategy north of the border — it’s not quite as simple as suggesting Canadians prefer the GMC grille. Regardless, GM is currently on pace to sell more full-size pickup trucks in Canada than ever before.
#3: Honda Civic
— 2017 Q1 Sales: +23% to 15,396 — The Honda Civic has been Canada’s best-selling car in 19 consecutive years, a streak that began in 1998 and will almost certainly continue in 2017. The Civic, helped by the launch last year of a new hatchback bodystyle, is already 4,622 sales ahead of its nearest competitor.
#2: Ram P/U
— 2017 Q1 Sales: -4% to 21,802 — Canada’s second-best-selling vehicle line, the Ram P/U range is on track for sales to fall to a four-year low. Blame year-over-year monthly sales declines in January and March. Ram P/U sales have now decreased in ten of the last twelve months.
#1: Ford F-Series
— 2017 Q1 Sales: +3% to 33,134 — To say the Ford F-Series is Canada’s best-selling vehicle line is almost to do the F-150 and its heavy-duty brethren a disservice. The F-Series is the top-selling vehicle by far, claiming 8 percent of all new vehicle sales, outselling the second-ranked vehicle line by a 52-percent margin, and selling more often than every auto brand (including non-F-Series Fords) aside from Toyota, Honda, and Chevrolet.
Canadian auto sales are rising to new highs, boosted by strong pickup and SUV volume as well as great success from the most popular cars.
Even as overall passenger car sales continue to slide, Canadians are buying more new vehicles than ever. Through the first quarter of 2017, these are the 30 vehicles Canadians buy and lease more than any others.